# Mathematics and Statistics

You have probably taken many math classes from algebra, geometry, to advanced mathematics. Mathematics is the study of numbers, shapes and patterns. But, did you know that mathematics provides an effective way of building mental discipline and encourages logical reasoning and mental rigor? In addition, mathematical knowledge plays a crucial role in understanding the contents of other school subjects such as science, social studies, and even music and art.

Mathematics

If you feel like you’re good at math and enjoy mental reasoning, numbers, puzzles, and all things logical, you might be interested in a degree in mathematics. Some of the highest paying careers go to people with a degree in mathematics or statistics. Keep in mind that not all mathematicians sit in a room with a whiteboard trying to figure out math problems that have never been solved--that's just some of them, the theoretical type. The other variety, applied mathematicians, use their math super powers to solve practical problems in a variety of industries. Just how much like a superhero can a mathematician be? Some mathematicians called cryptanalysts are code breakers--they analyze and decipher encryption systems and codes.

While you’re still in school, you should take full advantage of any available internship opportunities. Even if your internships don’t end up directly contributing to your career path, you’ll still benefit from the opportunity to understand exactly how mathematics fits into the global economy. Get as close as possible to people who are already professionals in math-related careers, and familiarize yourself with everything math related.

You may love math and consider it a hobby, but did you know there are so many options for future careers? Some of them include: actuarial analyst, actuary, astronomer, accountant, data analyst, and data scientist.

Statistics

Statistics is a collection of methods for collecting, displaying, analyzing, and drawing conclusions from data.  Descriptive statistics is the branch of statistics that involves organizing, displaying, and describing data. Statistics are relevant to topics ranging from disease prevention to storm prediction, and learning how to collect and break down complex information can help majors contribute to public policy, business decisions and more. Students who choose this major might be interested in building careers in a number of other fields, such as government, banking or finance. Because statistics are relevant in so many fields, statistics majors can have wide-ranging interests.

Statistics students should understand calculus, linear algebra and probability, along with their connections and relevance to statistics. High school students with high scores on Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or placement tests may be able to place out of certain classes at most schools. But, how do you know if this major is right for you? If you are a skilled mathematician and could see yourself applying your skills in areas ranging from climate change research to accounting, statistics could be the right major for you. Statistics majors can have aspirations that include working in the business world or government, for instance.